StatoilHydro Shuts-In Troll, Kvitebjoern and Visund for Maintenance

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), May 26, 2009

Norway's biggest gas field, Troll, and the Kvitebjoern and Visund gas fields have all been closed for planned maintenance, a spokesman for operator StatoilHydro ASA (STO) told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.

Geir Gjervan declined to give any information on how long the fields would be shut.

"This is an organized shutdown that was planned more than a year ago and was contained in our production guidance," he said.

A person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday that Troll A would be closed for maintenance from May 25 to June 5.

The field in the northern part of the North Sea about 65 kilometers offshore Kollsnes, produced 9.36 billion cubic meters of gas in the period January to March 2009 inclusive, figures on the Web site of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate show.

It is also a substantial oil producer, but oil is produced via Troll B and C units. Estimated average daily output of oil in 2008 was 138,000 barrels a day.

StatoilHydro owns just over 30% of Troll, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) owns 8.10%, ConocoPhillips (COP) 1.62%, Total SA (TOT) 3.69% and state-owned Petoro 56%.

The news coincides with a planned 12 day shut down at the Kollsnes gas processing plant, which can process up to 143 million cubic meters a day of gas and some natural gas liquids and condensate volumes, and takes volumes from all three of StatoilHydro's fields.

Values for prompt U.K. natural gas however were broadly lower Monday, within-day was priced at 19 pence per therm while day ahead was pegged at 23p/therm and week ahead at 24.25p/therm, traders said.

"The system looks well balanced today, the market had priced in scheduled maintenance at these sites already," said a trader at a U.K utility.

Warm weather has trimmed demand for gas and kept downward pressure on prices in recent days. The National Grid Web site showed the system was well supplied in the afternoon, with additional supply from mid-range storage facilities.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.